The camera technology in cell phones has come a long way. Where they used to produce grainy and dark images, they are now capturing bright and crisp photographs. But when it comes to taking the best cell phone photos, you can’t just rely on the camera to do all the work.
When you know how to use the camera on your phone, the results can be unbelievable. Luckily, taking great pictures isn’t as hard as you might imagine. If you want to take your images from just okay to professional quality, these tips are a great place to start!
1) Clean The Lens
First things, first: clean your lens. Any dust, dirt, or fingerprints on the lens will interfere with the clarity of the shot. Using a lint-free cloth should do the trick but if you have a particularly dirty lens, use a lens cleaner.
2) Use A Steady Support
Sometimes, keeping the camera steady is half the battle. If you move at the wrong moment, the image won’t be clear. This is particularly true if you are shooting in low light. In low light conditions, the shutter speed often slows to allow more light to come in and this means holding the camera still for a longer period of time.
The easiest way to keep the camera from moving is to give it a solid support. Try using a tripod with a remote so you don’t have to touch anything once you’re set up. Of course, you aren’t always going to have this gear with you so if you are travelling light and you still want a steady shot, use whatever is available like a wall, a table, or a shelf. Use the timer setting on your camera so you can set your phone down and not have to position yourself around it.
Whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android, you can set the focus on your picture by tapping the screen. Simply tap what you want the focus to be and the camera will adjust its exposure accordingly. This is a solid way to brighten or darken a particular area of a photo. Play around with this, these changes in exposure can produce some interesting results.
4) Turn On HDR
Turning on the high dynamic range filter (HDR) can help your photos. HDR works to make sure that the darkest and lightest parts of your image stay in balance with one another. If you set it to “auto,” this filter will be applied whenever the camera deems it necessary. But it is important to remember that HDR requires a longer exposure so you need to be sure to keep the camera stable.
HDR may not always be an appropriate choice and depends largely on the mood and image you are trying to capture. Again, you’ll have to play around to see what works best for you. A photo with an obscuring light source or enveloping darkness may be exactly what you are looking for!
5) Make The Most Of The Available Light
Lighting is one of the most important elements of photography and you need to know how to work with what you have. You aren’t always going to be in a perfectly lit space so don’t be afraid to mix things up. Change the angle or move the subject if possible to find the best use of the available light.
As mentioned above, HDR can do a lot to balance your photos but sometimes you want that sun flare or those fuzzy edges caused by low light. You know how you want your photograph to look so don’t be afraid to move around until you find it. Remember, you don’t always have to shoot a subject from a head on angle. Lighting limitations can produce some of the most interesting images simply by forcing you to move.
6) Use The Physical Shutter
It isn’t always easy to hit that shutter button in the middle of your screen. If you don’t have access to a remote and want to save your camera from that unfortunate jostling at the critical moment, try using the physical shutter. On iPhones and most Android phones, you can use either volume button to snap a pic. When the camera is open, the volume buttons work as a shutter. It’s not a perfect solution but it beats trying to twist your wrist to get your finger to the right spot.
7) Take Photos In A Burst
One photo isn’t always enough. Sometimes you need more to capture a moment properly. This is particularly true if you are taking a photo of something, or someone, that is animated.
It can be hard to capture motion properly in a static photo. By holding down the shutter button, in both iPhone and Android, you will take photos in a burst. When you are done shooting, you can scroll through the burst and select the best images and delete the rest. The next time you are having difficulty capturing something the way you want, increase your chances of hitting the mark by using a burst.
There are many elements that go into taking a great cell phone photo. Subject, lighting, and composition are all important parts of an image but sometimes getting the shot is even simpler than that. These tips provide you with the solid foundation you need to express your creativity and take only the best cell phone photos.